Water softener- Salt free or Salt?

Ocean 50

Silver Supporter
Aug 17, 2019
19
Palm Springs, CA
The Salt systems which remove the Calcium and Magnesium are not popular in my county any longer. Will a salt-free system reduce the hardness of my pool water if I swap some of the pool water out for salt free softened water? My understanding is this process only keeps the bad minerals materials from sticking to the pipes?

I am looking at a cannister replacement service where they pick up the salt waste in the cannister but I do not have the cost information on that yet. The big Company that does
this in my area seems to have a complicated marketing process. Almost like buying a time share condo from what I have heard so I am not real hopeful about this process.

Thanks
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
Who cares if they're not popular, has your county made them illegal or too costly to install?

The fact is, non-salt based softeners utilize a high concentration ion exchange resin that is basically "pre-set" with sodium ions that will exchange with calcium and magnesium. They are non-regenerating systems which means, once you exhaust the resin, you have to swap out the entire tank. These types of filters are more expensive to operate as you wind up paying for the labor and new materials. Regeneration-based systems like the one you might currently have, do all the regeneration on-site so all you have to do is get the resin exchanged every 3-5 years.

A non-regenerating system will not last long in your area with high hardness water. My guess is that softener companies will like this because they get to do lots of tank exchanges and charge you for it all. If your county has not regulated standard regeneration-based softeners (salt regeneration) out of existence, then just purchase a newer system from Home Depot or Lowes and get it installed by a local plumber willing to do the job. Forget about going with a major softener company as they only want to sell you what makes THEM the most profit.
 

Ocean 50

Silver Supporter
Aug 17, 2019
19
Palm Springs, CA
Who cares if they're not popular, has your county made them illegal or too costly to install?

The fact is, non-salt based softeners utilize a high concentration ion exchange resin that is basically "pre-set" with sodium ions that will exchange with calcium and magnesium. They are non-regenerating systems which means, once you exhaust the resin, you have to swap out the entire tank. These types of filters are more expensive to operate as you wind up paying for the labor and new materials. Regeneration-based systems like the one you might currently have, do all the regeneration on-site so all you have to do is get the resin exchanged every 3-5 years.

A non-regenerating system will not last long in your area with high hardness water. My guess is that softener companies will like this because they get to do lots of tank exchanges and charge you for it all. If your county has not regulated standard regeneration-based softeners (salt regeneration) out of existence, then just purchase a newer system from Home Depot or Lowes and get it installed by a local plumber willing to do the job. Forget about going with a major softener company as they only want to sell you what makes THEM the most profit.
I am getting mixed information about the systems being legal in my area. I just became aware of this potential problem last night and will find out Monday morning. I am in Riverside County in the state of California. It might be that the problem is with commercial units at this time. I'll report back.

Thanks for the help.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,885
Tucson, AZ
I am getting mixed information about the systems being legal in my area. I just became aware of this potential problem last night and will find out Monday morning. I am in Riverside County in the state of California. It might be that the problem is with commercial units at this time. I'll report back.

Thanks for the help.
It would be fairly rare to see specific types of water treatment devices declared illegal by a county. Usually residential codes are less restrictive than commercial codes. Never rely on sales people for a particular product to give accurate information. They will almost always shade the truth to make their product or service seem like the best choice. In the case of water softeners you’ll almost always hear that salt-based systems are “horrible for your plumbing” or “they ruin the environment” or “they’ll make you sick” etc, etc, which is total B/S. All of the “salt free” manufacturers will stretch the truth, aka LIE, to get you to believe that traditional systems are “evil”....just like how pool stores stretch the truth so that you’re always walking out their doors with hundreds of dollar of chemicals you don’t need.
 
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Ocean 50

Silver Supporter
Aug 17, 2019
19
Palm Springs, CA
It turns out that my house borders Riverside County and my city does not care if I use salt. As recycling water becomes more accepted and necessary they will turn up the heat on salt in the sewer systems universally. Until then it does not matter in most areas. People in California think the drought is over.

Thanks for your input
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,383
Hays, Kansas
If you get a large softener with metered Regen you will hardly use any salt or water. I got a 64k for pool filling reasons and in pool off season it only regens once a month. If I had no pool use I could easily get away with a 40k. Ch is 250.
 
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